World Tourism Day

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6 UNWTO regions

Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organization has celebrated World Tourism Day as international observances on September 27. This date was chosen as on that day in 1970, the Statutes of the UNWTO were adopted. The adoption of these Statutes is considered a milestone in global tourism.[1] The purpose of this day is to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide.

At its Twelfth Session in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 1997, the UNWTO General Assembly decided to designate a host country each year to act as the Organization's partner in the celebration of World Tourism Day. At its Fifteenth Session in Beijing, China, in October 2003, the Assembly decided the following geographic order to be followed for World Tourism Day celebrations: 2006 in Europe; 2007 in South Asia; 2008 in the Americas; 2009 in Africa and 2011 in the Middle East.

The late Ignatius Amaduwa Atigbi, a Nigerian national, was the one who proposed the idea of marking September 27 of every year as World Tourism Day. He was finally recognized for his contribution in 2009. The colour of World Tourism Day is Blue.

World Tourism Day's primary objective is to highlight the significance of tourism on a global scale. Apart from the economic impact that tourism brings to a country, it also plays a role in influencing the social, political and cultural environment of the countries.[2]

The primary objective of World Tourism Day is to underscore the importance of tourism on a global scale. Beyond its economic impact, tourism significantly influences the social, political, and cultural fabric of countries and regions. By celebrating this day, nations seek to emphasise that tourism isn't just about revenue; it's also about fostering connections, understanding diverse cultures and promoting sustainable practices.

Host countries and themes of the World Tourism Day

Year Host Country Theme
2023  Saudi Arabia Tourism and Green Investments[3]
2022  Indonesia «Rethinking Tourism»
2021  Ivory Coast «Tourism for inclusive growth»[4]
2020  Argentina
 Chile (Member associate)
«Tourism and rural development»[5]
2019  India «Tourism and jobs : a better future for all»[6]
2018  Hungary «Tourism and the digital transformation»[7]
2017  Qatar «Sustainable tourism - a tool for development»[8]
2016  Thailand «Tourism for all – promoting universal accessibility»[9]
2015  Burkina Faso «1 billion tourists, 1 billion opportunities»[10]
2014  Mexico «Tourism and community development»[11]
2013  Maldives «Tourism and water: protecting our common future»[12]
2012  Spain «Tourism & sustainable energy : powering sustainable development»[13]
2011  Egypt «Tourism - linking cultures»
2010  China «Tourism and Biodiversity»
2009  Ghana «Tourism - celebrating diversity»
2008  Peru «Tourism: responding to the challenge of climate change»[14]
2007  Sri Lanka «Tourism opens doors for women»[15]
2006  Portugal «Tourism Enriches»[16]
2005  Qatar «Travel and transport: from the imaginary of Jules Verne to the reality of the 21st century»
2004  Malaysia «Sport and tourism: two living forces for mutual understanding, culture and the development of societies»
2003  Algeria «Tourism: a driving force for poverty alleviation, job creation and social harmony»
2002  Costa Rica «Ecotourism, the key to sustainable development»
2001  Iran «Tourism: a tool for peace and dialogue among civilizations»
2000  Germany «Technology and nature: two challenges for tourism at the dawn of the twenty-first century»
1999  Chile «Tourism: preserving world heritage for the new millennium»
1998  Mexico «Public-private sector partnership: the key to tourism development and promotion»
«Tourism: a leading activity of the twenty-first century for job creation and environmental protection»
«Tourism: a factor of tolerance and peace»
«WTO: serving world tourism for twenty years»
«Quality staff, quality tourism»
«Tourism development and environmental protection: towards a lasting harmony»
«Tourism: a factor of growing social and economic solidarity and of encounter between people»
«Communication, information and education: powerlines of tourism development»
«Tourism: an unrecognized industry, a service to be released»
«The free movement of tourists creates one world»
«Tourism: education for all»
«Tourism for development»
«Tourism: a vital force for world peace»
«Youth Tourism: cultural and historical heritage for peace and friendship»
«Tourism for international understanding, peace and cooperation»
«Travel and holidays are a right but also a responsibility for all»
«Pride in travel: good guests and good hosts»
«Tourism and the quality of life»
«Tourism's contribution to the preservation of cultural heritage and to peace and mutual understanding»


  1. ^ "World Tourism Day Celebrations | UNWTO".
  2. ^ "World Tourism Day: Explore the history, significance and 2023 theme". CNBCTV18. CNBC. 27 September 2023. Retrieved 6 December 2023. World Tourism Day traces its origins to a special assembly held in Mexico City on the same date in 1970. During this gathering, the International Union of Official Travel Organizations (IUOTO) adopted the Statutes of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Following this milestone, the UNWTO officially established World Tourism Day on September 27, 1980.
  3. ^ "World Tourism Day 2023". World Tourism Organisation.
  4. ^ "World Tourism Day 2021: Tourism for Inclusive Growth". UNWTO.
  5. ^ "World Tourism Day 2020: Tourism & Rural Development". UNWTO.
  6. ^ "World Tourism Day 2019 | UNWTO".
  7. ^ "World Tourism Day 2018: Sustainability & digital transformation in tourism | UNWTO".
  8. ^ "World Tourism Day 2017 | UNWTO".
  9. ^ "World Tourism Day 2016: Promoting Universal Accessibility | UNWTO".
  10. ^ "World Tourism Day 2015 | Unwto".
  11. ^ "World Tourism Day 2014: Tourism and Community Development | UNWTO".
  12. ^ "World Tourism Day 2013: Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future | UNWTO".
  13. ^ "World Tourism Day 2012: Tourism & Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development | UNWTO".
  14. ^ "World Tourism Day 2008: Tourism: Responding to the Challenge of Climate Change | UNWTO".
  15. ^ "World Tourism Day 2007: Tourism Opens Doors for Women | UNWTO".
  16. ^ "World Tourism Day 2006 | UNWTO".

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